independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Police arrest Boston bombs suspect

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19 (AP)

A 19-year-old college student wanted over the Boston Marathon bombings has been taken into custody after a manhunt that left the city virtually paralysed and his older brother and accomplice dead.

Police announced via Twitter that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was in custody. His brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan, was killed early on Friday in a furious attempt to escape police.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been hiding in a boat in the Watertown suburb of Boston. The crowd gathered near the scene let out a cheer when spectators saw officers clapping.

Police confirmed Tsarnaev is injured and remains in a serious condition in hospital.

Boston Mayor Tom Menino tweeted: "We got him."

During a long night of violence from Thursday into Friday, the brothers killed a police officer, severely wounded another officer and hurled explosives at police in a car chase and gun battle, authorities said.

The suspects were identified by law enforcement officials and family members as Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, ethnic Chechen brothers who had lived in the Dagestan region in southern Russia. They had been in the US for about a decade, an uncle said. Their uncle in Maryland, Ruslan Tsarni, pleaded on live television Friday: "Dzhokhar, if you are alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness."

Authorities in Boston suspended all public transport and warned close to a million people in the city and some of its suburbs to stay indoors as the hunt went on. Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said: "We believe this man to be a terrorist. We believe this to be a man who's come here to kill people."

The bombings on Monday killed three people, including a student from China and an eight-year-old boy, and wounded more than 180, instantly raising the spectre of another terrorist attack on US soil.

Shortly before Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's capture, the White House said President Barack Obama has spoken by phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the investigation. Mr Obama "praised the close cooperation that the United States has received from Russia on counter-terrorism, including in the wake of the Boston attack," the White House said in a statement.

Press Association

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